Alabama football

2020 NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Patriots go for high-upside QB

perry-nfl_mock_draft-2-20220.jpg
AP Images

2020 NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Patriots go for high-upside QB

If indeed the Patriots are diving into the 2020 NFL Draft with Tom Brady scheduled to play his home games in a city other than Foxboro, the course of the franchise will have shifted.

Their focus, too, perhaps.

Because unless they land a quarterback in free agency they think can get them to the Super Bowl, their offseason goal may transition from building a championship-contending roster to finding The Next Guy. 

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Perhaps they feel as though Jarrett Stidham has a shot to be the answer.

But if there's any doubt, it'd make sense to continue to invest at that position until something sticks. In our latest mock draft, they roll the dice on a flawed prospect who has the tools to turn into a game-changer if all goes according to plan. 

Click here for Phil Perry's full 2020 Mock Draft, Version 2.0. 

 

 

Patriots pick Alabama star in Mel Kiper's first 2020 NFL mock draft

Patriots pick Alabama star in Mel Kiper's first 2020 NFL mock draft

The New England Patriots' preparation for the 2020 NFL Draft is well underway.

Multiple members of the Patriots were in Alabama this week for the Senior Bowl, including head coach Bill Belichick. Patriots scouts reportedly were "gushing" over SMU wide receiver Jordan Proche, who plays at a position New England would be wise to upgrade through the draft.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

The Patriots have plenty of defensive needs as well, and ESPN's Mel Kiper has the AFC East champs bolstering their secondary in his first 2020 NFL mock draft of the season. 

Here's part of Kiper's rationale for slotting Alabama safety Xavier McKinney to the Patriots with the 23rd pick in the first round.

...They have a few other important free agents, though, including safety Devin McCourty and linebacker Jamie Collins, who had a resurgent season. That's why I like the fit of McKinney, my top-ranked safety after I took a closer look at his 2019 tape. He's a complete player and is versatile, which is a trait Bill Belichick values. McKinney also has another thing Belichick likes: He played for Belichick's buddy Nick Saban.

NBC Sports Boston Patriots insider Phil Perry also had McKinney going to the Patriots in his first 2020 NFL mock draft.

McKinney played three seasons with the Crimson Tide and set career highs in 2019 with 95 total tackles, four forced fumbles and three interceptions. He also tallied five passes defensed and three sacks. One of McKinney's best games of the season came against No. 1 ranked and eventual national champions LSU, where he tallied 13 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in Alabama's 46-41 loss.

The Patriots have one of the league's most talented secondaries, but it's not a young group. Devin McCourty is an unrestricted free agent at 32 years old. His brother, Jason, also is 32 and has one more year left on his contract. Veteran safeties Duron Harmon (29 years old) and Patrick Chung (32 years old) are at the end of their primes. The NFL is a passing league, so it would behoove the Patriots to add some new blood to their defensive backfield.

McKinney is one of the top defensive backs in the 2020 draft class, and he obviously was well coached by Nick Saban and played in many big games as an Alabama starter.

Perry: LSU WR Jefferson movin' up draft boards

NFL rumors: Patriots add former practice squad player to coaching staff

NFL rumors: Patriots add former practice squad player to coaching staff

The New England Patriots have made an addition to their coaching staff.

Matt Zenitz of AL.com reported Tuesday, citing sources, that the Patriots have hired Vinnie Sunseri in a support staff position.


LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Sunseri was a member of the Patriots practice squad for a few months during the 2016 season. He never appeared in a regular season game for the Patriots, but he did play in nine games for the New Orleans Saints in 2014 and six games for the San Francisco 49ers in 2016.

The former NFL safety played three seasons at the University of Alabama under head coach Nick Saban, who is a great friend of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Sunseri was a graduate assistant for the Crimson Tide in 2019.

Patriots Talk Podcast: What exactly are the Patriots up to right now?